Friday, September 18, 2020
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Video: U.S. Senator James Risch (R-ID) Speaks at Hearing about Devastating Wildfires

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(U.S. Senator James Risch Press/Video Release, September 16, 2020)

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) spoke at an Energy and Natural Resources hearing about the devastating wildfires raging in the western United States, and landmark forest management reform legislation he has cosponsored to protect forestland and communities during wildfire season.

“Right now, there are more than a dozen fires burning thousands of acres throughout Idaho, the vast majority of which are located on federal lands.  Years of insufficient forest management have turned the West into a tinderbox,” said Risch.  “There are many factors that make wildfires spread, but regular fuel reduction is a critical and indisputable strategy to prevent wildfires of this magnitude from spreading.”

Risch continued, “I am proud to cosponsor the Emergency Wildfire and Public Safety Act, and would like to thank my colleagues Senator Daines and Senator Feinstein for their leadership in introducing it.  This bill offers commonsense solutions to these commonsense problems by improving our ability to reduce these fuels and improve our forests and protect communities in a productive, collaborative way.”

Remarks have been lightly edited for clarity.

To watch the rest of Senator Risch’s remarks, click the video below.

 

Portneuf River Vision Seeks Public Input on Designs to Update Centennial & Rainey Parks

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(City of Pocatello Press Release, September 15, 2020.  Photo Credit:  City of Pocatello)

The Portneuf River Vision is looking for your input on the future of a pair of Pocatello parks.

Recently, the group unveiled a round of updated designs for Centennial Park and Rainey Park, and now they’re looking for your input on the plans.  Citizens are invited to complete the 20-question survey at surveymonkey.com/r/27MTYSX and answer questions about how often they use the parks, what they use them for, and more.  The answers will help the Portneuf River Vision determine which aspects of the park are a priority for residents. 

 “After getting feedback last summer, the City worked with our design team, and we are thrilled with the concept that they’ve created,” said Hannah Sanger, Science and Environment Division Administrator.  “The current design now features a grassy amphitheater with cement platforms for performers, multiple pavilions and picnic shelters, a seasonal wetland that users can walk through, numerous access points to the Portneuf River, a bike park, and more.”

The questionnaire takes about 10 to 20 minutes to complete.  Responses will be accepted until September 21.

“The feedback we get now will be used to help us further refine park plans, and will also provide us with ‘before’ data on park use today,” Sanger said.

To view the latest round of designs, visit river.pocatello.us/2020-centennial-park-plans/.

For more information on the Portneuf River Vision, visit river.pocatello.us.

 

New Bus Stop Completed at Intersection of West Day St. and North Grant Ave.

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(City of Pocatello Press Release, September 15, 2020.  Photo Credit:  City of Pocatello)

Pocatello Regional Transit has put the finishing touches on a new stop at the intersection of West Day Street and North Grant Avenue.

The new stop features a bus shelter, dedicated bus parking, sidewalk renovations, and Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant ramps.

“Bus stop improvement projects like this help encourage more people to ride public transit and make for a positive experience in taking the bus,” said Skyler Beebe, Pocatello Regional Transit Director.  “Senior citizen mobility is an important focus in public transportation, so with Portneuf Towers providing senior housing, this was a great opportunity.”

“The stop’s shelter will provide protection from the weather for the residents and neighbors of Portneuf Towers,” said Sunny Shaw, Executive Director of Housing Alliance and Community Partnerships.  “I am especially excited that the stop has ADA improvements permitting greater access by all who will use it.”

The total cost of the project was $55,250 and the new bus stop was completed at no cost to the City.  Funding was provided by Housing Alliance and Community Partnerships and the Federal Transit Administration.

The project was a collaboration between the City of Pocatello, Housing Alliance & Community Partnerships, and Bannock Transportation Planning Organization.

The new stop was modeled on improvements made to the stop at East Sherman Street and North 7th Avenue that were completed in the fall of 2018.

For more information on PRT including routes, stops, and more, visit pocatellotransit.com.

 

School District 25 Board Votes to Retire Pocatello High School’s Indians Mascot

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September 16, 2020

Last night, during an hours-long school board meeting, the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 Board voted to retire the Pocatello High School Indians mascot at the end of the school year.

The vote followed public comments from students, teachers, parents, past graduates, and members of the Shoshone-Bannock tribes.  In addition, Board members were said to have received, “hundreds” of emails on the topic.  Speakers were fairly evenly divided both for and against the change, including tribal members.

Although the vote to be taken was whether or not to change the name of the mascot, many speakers chose to address school assemblies and rallies, which, some said, caused them to feel embarrassed and mocked by performances at these events.

While the meeting topic was referred to as controversial, and watching the meeting it was obvious that the issue was very emotional for many on both sides, all those speaking at the meeting were respectful and voiced their positions very articulately.

Ultimately, the Board voted to retire the Indians mascot on June 1, 2021, so as to give the students the ability to finish the year with the mascot in place along with the opportunity for all stakeholders to work together to come up with a new mascot.

To watch the meeting, click on the video link, below.

 

Pocatello City Council to Hear Public Comments on Proposed 2020 Budget Amendments During Meeting on Thursday, September 17

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September 15, 2020

During their regularly scheduled meeting set for Thursday, September 17, the Pocatello City Council will hear public comments on proposed fiscal year 2020 budget amendments.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 911 N. 7th Avenue.  The public hearing on the budget amendments is Item 6 on the agenda.

To see the full agenda and for other information, visit:

https://pocatello.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09172020-1079?html=true

 

Employment: City of Pocatello Seeks Equipment Operator in Water Department

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(City of Pocatello Press Release, September 14, 2020)

The City of Pocatello is seeking an equipment operator in the City’s Water Department.

According to the job posting, “The Equipment Operator is a journey level position operating light and medium equipment and performing maintenance duties for the Water Department.

In the Water Department, the job requires knowledge of the methods of water distribution repair and installation of water mains, services, valves, hydrants, meters and storm/Sewer related infrastructure, operations of power tools and light and medium equipment such as dump trucks with trailers, backhoes, compactors, power brooms, snow plowing equipment and loaders.  The job requires Class I Drinking Water Distribution Operator certification.

The job requires the ability to maintain a collaborative and cooperative working relationship with elected and appointed officials, other City employees, other organizations, and the general public.

The work environment is a public street environment that may include exposure to adverse weather conditions, trench excavation, traffic hazards, moving vehicles and heavy equipment at the job site, and hazards involving the use of power tools and equipment. The noise level is generally moderate but with occasional exposure to noisy and/or loud equipment.

The job is an on-call position, responding to emergency situations.  Employees designated as immediate response personnel must live 12.5 odometer miles from their usual daily work site and must be able to be at the job site in thirty (30) minutes or less.”

The position pays $18.69 – $20.15 per hour.

Other positions are available with the City of Pocatello.  To view this or other open positions or to apply, visit:  https://pocatello.us/546/Employment-Opportunities

 

 

Presentation of the Congressional Medal of Honor for Sergeant Major Thomas Payne, U.S. Army

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(White House Press Release, September 11, 2020; Official White House Photo)

On September 11, 2020, President Donald J. Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Major Thomas Payne, U.S. Army.

As noted on the U.S. Army video post, “Sgt. Maj. Thomas “Patrick” Payne, who is assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, was part of a joint task force that assisted Iraqi security forces Oct. 22, 2015, in raiding an ISIS prison near Hawija in northern Iraq. Payne and his teammates liberated 70 hostages — many of whom were captured Iraqi security forces personnel — after a request by the Kurdistan Regional Government.”

To watch the ceremony, click on the video link, below:

 

White House Proclamation on Minority Enterprise Development Week, 2020

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Photo Credit: Aaron Kittredge

(White House Press Release, September 11, 2020)

President Donald J. Trump (White House Official Photo by Shealah Craighead)
Each day, more than one million minority-owned employers in the United States contribute to the economic vitality of our Nation.  These incredible enterprises uplift their surrounding communities and help fuel the futures, livelihoods, and dreams of Americans throughout the country.  During Minority Enterprise Development Week, we celebrate the contributions of our great minority-owned businesses and reaffirm our commitment to supporting their continued growth, development, and success.

 

Since my first day in office, I have been committed to fostering an environment where all businesses, including minority-owned businesses, can thrive.  The historic 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provided for the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history, benefitting all Americans.  This legislation also created Opportunity Zones, a landmark program that encourages investment in distressed communities and creates jobs for those who are most in need of opportunities for economic empowerment.  My Administration has also cut burdensome regulations at an unprecedented rate, loosening Government restraints on growth and allowing minority-owned businesses to thrive.  To reinforce our commitment to these critical enterprises, in April of this year, the Department of Commerce, through the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), announced the creation of the Minority Business Enterprise Inner City Innovation HUBs, which will award $2.8 million over 2 years to support minority-owned businesses.  Through this initiative, we are helping to fund and sustain minority-owned startups, including those that support digital innovation, machine learning and artificial intelligence, and technology transfer.

My Administration has also been relentlessly committed to helping minority-owned businesses recover from the economic hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.  As part of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which I signed into law in March of this year, the Federal Government has allocated $10 million in supplemental funding to MBDA Business Centers and minority chambers of commerce to provide training and advising services for minority business enterprises, empowering them to be leaders in our economic recovery.  In addition, the nearly 9,000 Opportunity Zones created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act have produced $75 billion in investment for countless minority neighborhoods throughout the United States.  My Administration understands that supporting minority businesses promotes a strong national economy, and we will do everything in our power to assist minority-owned businesses as our Nation continues our economic resurgence.

This week and every week, we celebrate the vast contributions minority-owned businesses make to our great country.  As President, I will always proudly stand by minority entrepreneurs and their businesses.  My Administration will continue to promote their interests and decrease regulatory burdens to help them unleash their full potential.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 13 through September 19, 2020, as Minority Enterprise Development Week.  I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with programs, ceremonies, and activities to recognize the many contributions of American minority business enterprises.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eleventh day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

DONALD J. TRUMP

 

Idaho Ranks First Among States for Financial Stability, August Revenues Come in Millions Ahead of Forecast

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(Idaho Governor’s Office Press Release, September 8, 2020)

Governor Brad Little (Official Photo)

Boise, Idaho – Idaho’s economic rebound continues to strengthen, with Idaho leading all 50 states for best financial shape, tax revenues beating the forecast by $37 million for the month of August and Idaho’s employment rate better than 47 other states.

“We’re far better off in Idaho than elsewhere, thanks to our handling of the pandemic and fiscal conservatism in state government – our management of the state budget and watchful eye on regulations.  We are well positioned to handle the ongoing impacts of COVID-19,” Governor Brad Little said.

Financial magazine Barron’s ranked Idaho first among states last week for creditworthiness.

The Division of Financial Management released the August tax revenue report today showing Idahoans are getting back to work and engaging in the economy, with sales taxes and income taxes coming in well above forecast.

In addition, Idaho ranks third among states for lowest unemployment rate.

Idaho has been able to lead the nation in financial solvency through conservative revenue forecasting, setting aside healthy reserves, limiting government spending, and rolling back state regulations.

Idaho state agencies just submitted the lowest budget request in years – with just 1.68-percent growth for Fiscal Year 2022 starting next year.  Under Governor Little’s direction, the “no frills” budget reflects limited growth in state government.

Thankfully, Idaho’s public-school system will be minimally impacted by COVID-19 in current and future years because of Idaho’s efforts to strategically leverage federal funds to offset planned reductions.  Fiscal conservativism elsewhere in the budget combined with the relief funds Idaho directed to K-12 mean teachers, students, and parents won’t feel as much of an impact in schools here like they will in other states.

Idaho remains the least-regulated state in the nation after Governor Little and the Legislature achieved historic regulatory cuts last year.  Seventy-five percent of regulations were cut or simplified in a matter of months, and through Governor Little’s Zero-Based Regulation executive order earlier this year, regulatory reductions will continue.

“Our economy has been open for months and we have managed to do so without maxing out our healthcare system statewide – a testament to the people and businesses of Idaho.  I appreciate Idahoans for their strength and determination, and for the care they continue to show their neighbors.  Let’s keep up our preventive actions so we can continue our economic rebound and so our kids can learn in their classrooms where they deserve to be,” Governor Little said.

 

Pocatello: Vacancy Announced on The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Grievance Committee

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(City of Pocatello Press Release, September 11, 2020)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Grievance Committee has an upcoming vacancy.

This volunteer committee is required by the ADA as an administrative procedure for resolving grievances associated with the City’s compliance with the ADA.  Members must be disabled individuals or have technical skills regarding architectural, transportation, communications and other barriers to disabled citizens.

Meetings are held on an as-needed basis.

Interested persons living inside the city limits can obtain an application by contacting the Mayor’s Office at 911 North 7th Avenue, visiting the Advisory Committees link at pocatello.us or by calling 208-234-6163.

Applications for membership must be received by September 25, 2020.